White Collar Wire supports cocktails.
As part of that effort, I have a magazine on Flipboard called (helpfully) “Cocktails.” Follow here, read on and use good ice.
Two items we focus on — books and cocktails — come together in How to Build a Solid Drinking Library, by New York Times writer (and bartender) Rosie Schaap:
Are there places I like as much as great bars? Yes: great bookshops. And if I had to pick a favorite in the latter category, it’s Dog Ears Book Barn in the little town of Hoosick, N.Y. Conveniently, it’s just a little ways down Route 7 from the Man of Kent, one of America’s best bars. A couple of hours spent digging through Dog Ears for treasure, then bringing those books to the Man of Kent and perusing them over a few pints for a few more hours? That’s what I call a perfect day.
Read the entire piece here.
On the subject of cocktails, absinthe has made a comeback, as shown in Gear Patrol‘s piece on How to Drink Absinthe Like a Gentleman.
Absinthe’s history mirrors the way it’s meant to be prepared: a mix of the misunderstood and the legitimately unusual. For most of its existence, the spirit has been slandered, ostracized and, in rarer cases, revered. It’s been dragged across borders, masqueraded as other liquors, aspersed with hallucination claims and — since its ban was lifted in America in 2007 — the spirit has been secretly embracing it all.
“There’s a tradition. There’s a lure to the preparation of absinthe”, says Will Elliot, a bartender at Brooklyn’s Maison Premiere, an oyster and cocktail den with the allure of a New Orleans haunt. Absinthe, at 68 percent alcohol, is a compacted spirit. Once diluted with water, the essential oils and flavors loosen to reveal the drink’s nuances. Preparing an absinthe drink involves combining botanicals, flavors and aromatic elements, Elliot says. “It’s not the sort of spirit that you just toss back.” As for lighting it on fire, which often is brought up in discussions on how absinthe’s served, “You wouldn’t…that’s really damaging the alcohol”, Elliot says. He got behind the bar to debunk some myths and walk us through two traditional absinthe drinks — a drip and a frappe — and a new twist on an old cocktail.
From the The Cabinet Rooms blog, a recipe for the Martinez, a precursor to the modern martini:
Continuing our exploration into the world of gin, we’ve been perusing classic gin-based cocktails this week. One dating back to the 1880’s is the Martinez; a smooth and refreshing drink, packed full of herbal aromatics. Usually made by mixing gin, vermouth and bitters with either maraschino liqueur or orange curaçao, this drink is a great alternative to the Martini. We love the combination of the gin’s botanicals with the fruitier notes of the vermouth and sweetness of the maraschino. Here we’ve used Burleigh’s London Dry and garnished with a black cherry, soaked in a rich Kirsch syrup, for a touch of added luxury.
From the Garden & Gun blog, a video recipe for a modern mint julep.
From The Telegraph, a review of fancy bitters:
“You’re writing about bitters – great beers!” my husband said. But no, with respect to him and Britain’s brewers, I’m going to talk about something far more chic and high fashion. And bitters – those little, apothecary-like bottles of intensely aromatic botanical tinctures – are about as on-trend as you can get right now.
From the New York Times, this set of interactive videos about summer cocktails is a great start to the weekend.
The Thin Man movies starring Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) combine two elements of our mission (cocktails and crime fiction). This montage from several “Thin Man” films has some of their best martini-hits.
Tiki drinks are a hot-weather favorite. From Saveur.com, here’s a story about Dragon 88’s mai tai.
Nothing causes good-natured arguments better than the correct preparation of the Sazerac. From our friends at Gastronomista.com, an article that reminds you: Trust Me, You’re Drinking Your Sazerac Wrong.
Finally, I am no great fan of commencement addresses, but this one by Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, seems especially appropriate on Memorial Day weekend.
Our notes on cocktails this Friday.
From Gastronomista, an Avua Cachaca Pam Am cocktail:
I was recently introduced to Avuá Cachaça, a relatively new cachaça on the market. After a boozy night out on the town touring some of New York City’s best bars, including Sasha Petrosky’s famed Milk & Honey, I’m convinced that this is a bottle I want to keep in my library of libations.
Please place your seats and trays in their upright and locked position.
Indeed, on YouTube, “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra.
From Saveur, for those who like it dark and early in the day, here’s The Brew: Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout:
One of the biggest deals for craft beer enthusiasts is the annual spring release of Founders Brewing Company’s “highly acclaimed” KBS, or Kentucky Breakfast Stout. The outrageous 11.2% bourbon barrel-aged beer attracts fans from all over the country to Founders’ home base of Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they line up for hours on end for short pours of the inky, robust brew. The beer’s release has become so popular that Founders issues tickets for the event, and this year, rather than pour it just at the brewery’s taproom, they decided to celebrate with a week-long party throughout greater Grand Rapids.
From the New York Times, we have Cocktail Science, Simplified. Booze with cookies, though, is not to my taste.
“’This is a good place,’ he said.
‘There’s a lot of liquor,’ I agreed.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
Gin is juniper, in our opinion. Gin should not be “citrus-forward”: Is The Gin Category In Danger of Losing Its Way?
From the advertising blurb:
“First you take a drink,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once noted, “then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” Fitzgerald wrote alcohol into almost every one of his stories. On Booze gathers debutantes and dandies, rowdy jazz musicians, lost children and ragtime riff-raff into a newly compiled collection taken from The Crack-Up, and other works. On Booze portrays “The Jazz Age” as Fitzgerald experienced it: roaring, rambunctious, and lush – with quite a hangover.
New York cocktail lovers had plenty to choose from with this year’s excellent slugs. Our favorite drinks included a Spanish-tinged julep, a highbrow egg cream and a head-turning martini. From daisies to gimlets and everything in between—these are TONY’s top tipples of the year.